Environment Minister and Green Party leader John Gormley today dismissed claims the latest piece of animal welfare legislation has been altered to appease greyhound and hunting circles.
Independent TD Michael Lowry twice claimed he has been given assurances the dogs will not be subject to strict new breeding and welfare rules to limit puppy farms and prevent abuse.
But a spokesman for the minister said the proposed laws will not carry exemptions for certain breeds and further legislation to cover greyhounds is due in the autumn.
Government supporter Mr Lowry claimed Government Chief Whip John Curran confirmed last night and again this morning that significant amendments would be made to the Dog Breeding Establishments Bill.
But an official in the minister’s office claimed any apparent conflict is only a matter of semantics and emphasis.
“This issue is well on the way to being resolved,” a spokesman added.
Final details of the proposed legislation on dog breeding, including amendments, are expected to be published tomorrow. It is due to be voted on at the Dáil next week.
Hunting packs will not be exempt from the new legislation but masters will not have to pay fees while rules on the amount bitches can breed will be spread over three years rather than one.
The law is expected to come into force next year.
In the meantime a separate welfare inspection regime is to be drawn up in the autumn to regulate the greyhound industry. It is understood local authority staff will work with officials from the Greyhound Board to carry out inspections and ensure standards are maintained.
Mr Lowry had claimed hunt groups should be exempt from the bill and greyhounds removed altogether amid fears the new regimes and fees will put breeding businesses in jeopardy.